Easiest No-Sew Bibs

If you want to make adorable bibs for your little nosher here is a great tutorial I found at Sewingdork.blogspot.com. I mean look at ’em, what’s not to love?!

Unfortunately, I’m a slacker when it comes to sewing what is destined to be blackberry, sunflower seed butter and tomato sauce besmirched.  While I might let Eli eat in store- bought clothing when we are out of clean bibs, if he is wearing a mama-made item that day, at meal time he will suddenly find himself playing for the skins team.

This has been happening fairly frequently as with only 3 people in our household, he runs out of bibs between loads of laundry being washed.

Enter the t-shirt bonanza of 2010.

A  local t-shirt printing company advertised on Freecycle that they had a misprint order of 3 boxes of t-shirts to give away. I was just beginning to sew with knit material so I claimed one of the boxes. Oh my goodness, but I found myself awash in black t-shirts as the box contains I-don’t-know-how-many shirts… 50? 70? I don’t want to take them out of their tightly packed state just to count them and then not be able to store them again as neatly afterwards. All I know is that the box was quite heavy! Seriously, if you live locally (Orange County, CA)  and would like to share in the bonanza please contact me. If I were to endeavor to use all this fabric Eli would be quickly labeled “Goth” even at the tender age of 2.

Since I don’t use the front decal part of the shirt when harvesting fabric, using it for a bib makes perfect sense.

So here’s my tutorial for other people with an abundance of old t-shirts itching for a new purpose. As an added benefit you’ll find your dresser drawers easier to close! (Tell me I’m not the only lazy bum unmotivated person when it comes to articles of clothing destined for destruction.)

1. Cut a rectangle out of an existing unloved t-shirt long enough to cover the belly and a bit of the lap of your future fastidious diner. Include the neck band. Make as many as necessary to cover all meals between loads of laundry. (Save the rest of the fabric from the shirts for other projects. (Time investment: approximately 45 seconds. Use the rest of naptime to sew that pair of Treasure Pocket Pants or the Charlie Tunic you’ve been itching to make.)

2. Soil.

3. Wash.

4. Repeat.

Now if you want both sewing time dedicated to clothing you’ll be proud to see your little one wearing in public, and cute bibs as well (I admit, my bibs are way down there down there at the ugly end of the attractiveness spectrum), here are some wonderful bibs I found on Etsy:

Baby Bibs, Set of 2, Organic, Circa 52 Woodland Friends and Cotton Fleece

from Sir Bubbadoo. Really hard to beat a woodland theme if your shooting for cuteness.

Gender Neutral Baby Bib - Lime Green Giraffes and Chenille

from The Posh Pea Boutique. We like just about anything giraffe around here!

organic baby bib (white elephant)

From Down Home Amy. Love the quilting and the whimsical elephant!

So if you also find yourself short on bibs, go forth and cut, sew or buy!

Thanks for the visit!


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  1. May 28, 2012 at 6:31 am

    That is so clever!!! And thank you for the other link, too, since I’m making some baby things these days and haven’t tried bibs yet. 🙂

    • May 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you. If you’re making for a new baby it is definitely worth your while to go with the cute bibs. They wear them all the time during the spit up phase. How depressing to start your life clad in reject black D.A.R.E. day in and day out!

  2. May 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Clever idea! 😉

    • May 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you Sofia. I especially like that Eli isn’t annoyed by a velcro closure in back. He doesn’t mind wearing these bibs.

  3. Erika said,

    May 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

    That is a great way to upcycle someone’s mistake. I like the idea of using the shirts for bibs and protecting good clothing. I know more than a few tops were forever stained by spaghetti sauce.

    Thank you for linking up at the It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising.


    • May 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! Spaghetti sauce can be hard to get out. We should be well protected from here on out!

  4. etcetorize said,

    May 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Such a smart idea! I love that you invested a whopping 45 seconds into each one. (I have a few t-shirt refashions on my tutorial page if you want some more ideas of what to do with your landslide). Thanks so much for sharing at Etcetorize this week!

  5. kristin said,

    May 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    thanks for linking to my applique boy bib tutorial! way to use up those DARE t-shirts. i definitely had one of those in my middle school days.

    • May 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

      I was happy to link… those are great bibs! If I have another baby I’ll definitely be making some for the time when baby always wears a bib!

  6. Inder said,

    May 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I’m just chuckling that you have a giant box of misprinted D.A.R.E. t-shirts! Perhaps some bleach-reverse-tie-dye?

    • May 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Actually, I have my first 2 drying from my attempt at putting the fabric in a bleach bath this weekend. I love the shades of brown you get from bleaching black! Potty training is coming up and I know I’ll be using some for making Eli some underwear. I got my hands on a free pattern and figure I can makes some with multiple layers and maybe the addition of a layer of PUL for those first weeks (months?) diaper-free. Even still… there is A LOT of fabric!

  7. May 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Such a cute and clever idea!

  8. May 31, 2012 at 2:06 am

    This is such a great idea Karen. Mine aren’t babies anymore but will pass on to friends of mine. I have a linky party every Thursday called Thriving on Thursdays here in Australia. I’d love for you to link up this idea if you have a moment.


    Anne @ Domesblissity

  9. Montessori Motherload said,

    June 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    What a brilliant idea! Such a great way to recycle old t-shirts! I am definitely doing this for Baby 2 and now I won’t feel guilty if the stains don’t come out! I like that there’s no velcro to attach it because I liked teaching my daughter to pull them over her head on her own.

  10. June 3, 2012 at 7:00 am

    […] check out this DIY ring frame from Handmade by Is! 2. I love these no sew bibs from Folk Haven! Just cut up a t-shirt and slip over babies head… easy, useful, and free… my kind of […]

  11. June 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Holy Cow!! How did I miss this one?!? What a brilliant idea. I saw you featured at CRAFT. Awesome!!

  12. bcarlouet said,

    June 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Great idea! I don’t like getting the cute bibs dirty either.

  13. August 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Now I know what to do with all of my hubby’s ratty t-shirts! And I love the terry fringe on one of the fancier ones… Cute!

  14. August 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    […] which magazine it was. It’s a simple enough design. Basically this is cut out much like the No-Sew Bibs that I made a while back, except the entire length of the shirt front is used and a strip across […]

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